I’ve been writing this post in my head for weeks, choking up every time I start to string words together in mental phrases or paragraphs. I’ve also been avoiding this post because I know how hard it’s going to be for me to write. See? I’m already crying and it’s only my third sentence. Hold on while I grab some kleenex.
It’s time for me to get this out.
One night this summer I finished reading one of my favorite books. I closed the cover, set it on my bedside table, turned off the light. I rested in the dark, letting the last chapter sink in. Quietly, my mind turned the words of the book inward. Maybe it’s time for me to start writing about my family and my childhood. Wait. Did I mean that? Hmmmm. I pondered the unexpected words. Yes. Oddly, something about that idea felt right. I closed my eyes and decided to come up with a plan the next day.
That night while I slept, Scott Walker died.
I started this blog one year ago. My first post was on January 19 of 2011, and it was called My Piece of Heaven. I shared with you a glimpse of Annie’s eighth birthday family celebration. I knew I wanted to tell you all about the details of what we ate, how I set the table, what kind of cake she requested, because I thought that was going to be the point of this blog. But I also ended up sharing something more about that night. I remember struggling to find the right words to adequately describe the feeling I had in my gut that I was witnessing something amazing and other-worldly in our home that night. I tried, but I’m not sure I did that great of a job.
My memories of that evening in our home last January are sweet. Our family gathered around a banquet table to share a meal together and toast to Annie’s eight years. We prayed, ate, drank, laughed, loved. I stood in my kitchen and ached for it not to end.
Maybe that feeling in my gut was a gentle nudging encouraging me to make sure I soaked in every drop of time we spent together that evening. I’m so glad I was paying attention that night, that I paused and chose to feel the weight of beauty happening in front of my eyes.
I couldn’t have known then how much change our family would experience in the coming months. I couldn’t have known this would be the last time all these people would be together in our home. I couldn’t have known how much change would come to so many of the lives seated at our table.
A life. A baptism. A death. A move. A loss. An engagement. A baby. A wedding.
I like thinking about how our family began last year gathered around the birthday-dinner table, and then we ended last year gathered around the wedding-dinner table. Even though a slew of emotionally charged events took place in between, and we all ended the year much different than when we began it, our family still had reason to celebrate around the table. We came full circle. From one table to another, and then back again.
Tragedy and change have not been wasted on me this year. I like to think I have willingly submitted to their torturous blows trusting that somewhere in between the tossing and turning of the unexpected, new life is being unearthed in my heart. And here is where it all comes together.
I’ve brought you along on a year-long journey of story-telling. I feel like I’ve figured out how to tell you about other people and other things: my children, my husband, song lyrics, nail polish, and pie, to name a few. I’ve established a place where I get to share so many things I like, and I could probably continue in this fashion for a long time and never once be forced to learn to tell about the more difficult parts of my life. But all the unearthing in my heart this past year has brought about a different sort of inspiration and desire inside of me. There is a story I need to learn to tell. A different kind of story lingering in a shadowy corner of my mind just waiting for me to get the guts up to look it square in the face. This story is harder to figure out and messier to tell. It requires quite a bit of work for me to unfold it. It’s not as pretty as the other things I’ve told.
It’s my story.
I don’t expect the telling of my story to illicit huge gasps of anticipation from most of you. But, I have decided that even if the telling is for my benefit alone, then I’m game for the challenge.
So what does this mean? The short answer is, I’m not really sure. I still really like writing about dinner recipes and song lyrics and birthday parties. I can’t really see myself putting an end to that. But I think I am going to have to allow more space for me to dive into the deep end and start sharing bits and pieces of my story. Believe me, there is a list a mile long of things we need to catch up on. I mean, we had a wedding in our house for crying out loud!! There are at least a good dozen posts coming from that magical event alone. I haven’t figured it all out, but I know what I need to do, and I know this is the place where I want to do it.
Let the fun begin…